OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
Muhammad Yunus is a Nobel Prize winning economist. He is the inventor of what is called the micro-economy. He came up with the idea of making micro-loans to people in 3rd world countries so they could start a small business.
Yunus’s latest thoughts on the capitalist economy include the opinion that one of our biggest stumbling blocks to happiness and the fulfilment of our true human nature is that too many of us think about getting a job. Instead, we should be thinking about how we could be entrepreneurial and work for ourselves.
Here in Acadiana, Aileen Bennett's lunch guests have unwittingly followed Yunus's call to action and thrown off the shackles of education and employment, respectively, to follow their own entrepreneurial paths.
Nathanael Johnson was majoring in business at LSU when he decided to short-circuit the whole process. He dropped out of business school to open a business. In 2007 Nathanael opened Café Mosaic, a coffee shop in Eunice. Then he moved to Lafayette and opened another one. Reve on Jefferson Street.
Today, Reve is more than a coffee shop. It’s also a brand of coffee, available around the state and across the country, made from beans roasted by Nathanael or one of his 42 employees. Nathanael is quite a success story. And a role model for kids in business school everywhere! :)
Kelly Guidry has a website called chainsawguy.com.
If you’ve ever stood in front of a mirror rehearsing how you’re going to explain something difficult to your husband, wife or parents, you can only imagine Kelly’s speech in which he had to rationalize quitting work as a successful graphic designer with a paycheck to throw himself into the career of chainsaw artist.
Going on for 20 years later, you can find Kelly’s artworks in homes and collections locally, and all over the country thanks mostly to his marketing strategy of selling his pieces at festivals - including Festival International and Jazz Fest in New Orleans.
Aileen Bennett, Kelly Guidry, and Nathanael Johnson find a surprising amount in common as they discuss their adventures in self-employment over lunch at Cafe Vermilionville.